This Editorial Is Authored By UsagiMed Intern and Writer Allison Marrero
Con season is back! Anime, comic, and gaming conventions across the U.S. have been returning, with events like Katsucon, Holiday Matsuri, and Anime Weekend Atlanta scheduled to take place in the upcoming six months. Some events have already occurred though, with one of the biggest conventions in the east, MegaCon, having taken place in Orlando this August, boasting over 100,000 attendees over four days.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of last year, I, along with most con-goers, have been steering clear from the convention scene due to health and safety concerns. However, MegaCon stated online that they would be heavily enforcing attendees to keep their masks on at all times except during stationary eating. I decided to attend for the full weekend and see how the mask and distancing guidelines carried out.
All of us are looking at the convention-planning horizon with undisguised optimism. We are all champing at the bit to throw a big party and get back to our cons. But we must continue to exercise caution. None of us want the public humiliation of fostering another outbreak that puts our friends and fans at risk.
The recommendations and mandates that have been in place for the last twelve months are slowly changing as we get more and more data about rates of infection, hospitalization, and the availability of a vaccine. As the data continues to get updated, Usagi Medical will help your con AT NO COST on an advisory basis. We’ll help you answer some critical questions:
This post is for all our convention-organizer friends who have to use any kind of two-way radio during their con. Radio Etiquette. You’re right, most of this seems obvious. But we’ve seen things, man! There are a lot of people who work a convention just to grab a radio and enjoy some kind of rush throughout the weekend. Many of them don’t know what they’re doing. Or they abuse the privilege. Usagi Medical Group works hand-in-glove with both convention staff and licensed first-responders who may be on scene. Proper radio etiquette helps us avoid delays and mistakes. We hope your personnel will find these guidelines useful in avoiding unnecessary frustrations in times of an emergency.
I just wanted to take a moment to share a bit of wonderful feedback we got from a guest at Anime Weekend Atlanta:
“I was at AWA this weekend and wanted to thank everyone at UsagiMed who helped me out. I got sick from being in the heat in a hot costume and everyone who helped me was great! …I just really wanted to be able to contact someone to show my gratitude. If I were at any other con without UsagiMed I would have been so much worse off, and I probably would have gone past heat exhaustion to heat stroke. Next time, I’ll remember to drink more water! Even if it means having to wrestle with a body suit to use the restroom. Again, thank you so, so much.”
We were happy to help, of course, and we’re glad all our friends and guests made it safely back home. Usagi Medical Group wants to be available to more cons across the southeast so we can help others. Please tell your friends about us!
Our friends at Anime Weekend Atlanta made a small handful of UsagiMed video PSAs for use during the con last year. We want to take a moment to share them with you. Personally, this one makes me thirsty:
There are plenty of ongoing, online conversations questioning whether or not you should attend a convention alone. Should You Go Alone? We say YES! Go and enjoy yourself. There is no denying there is safety in numbers, but there is nothing wrong with going to a convention alone. You should absolutely talk to strangers! Have fun! Make some new friends!
So, Post-Con Depression is a real thing. I mean, you’re not going to find Post Con Blues in the DSM, but we know that coming down from the pure excitement and hilarity of the convention can leave one feeling temporarily worse than usual. Being surrounded by tons of fun, like-minded people, costumes, exhibits, panels, parties, your family of friends… What’s not to like? It’s hard to go back to real life after a weekend of escapism. Coming back to reality can underline some real feelings of sadness and discontent.